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pcheng

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
18
I know this must come up a lot in these forums but I would like to ask for some help based on what my needs are.

I would like to buy a diamond engagement ring and I know very little about diamonds. I read all about the 4 C''s and lots of other information but I still don''t know what a diamond will look like when I see it in person. I saw some at the jewelery stores around my town but I am not confident that by looking at some information I can tell how good a diamond is.

So on to the needs:
I would like a solitaire ring on a four prong platinum setting with a thin band. The question here is: Is the platinum band better than the white gold band and what are the benefits.
As for the diamond I would like something from a round, 0.5ct to 0.7ct, colourless or near colourless, and I want it to shine alot
(what does the shine depend on?) My budget is around $2500 with the band and its a little flexible.(Being a student allows no heavy expenses and I have been saving for 2 years for this)

I would like your opinions on this and your guidance on what I should buy and where if possible.

Thank you all for your help,


A soon to be "broke" engaged student.
 

Lugus

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 17, 2003
Messages
213
Here's a link to get you started. I bought my diamond here and I've never seen a nicer one.

http://www.superbcert.com/products/index.cfm?Product_Group_ID=1&Product_Category_ID=3&Product_SubCategory_ID=2&Sort=Carat_Weight

Platinum is heavier than white gold.
Platinum is more expensive than white gold.
Platinum is harder than white gold.
Platinum displaces when scratched, white gold will lose metal when scratched.
Platinum is rarer than white gold.
Platinum loses it's luster in time, white gold does this and possibly yellows.

Shine depends on cut, and is thought of as brilliance and scintillation, or white light and colored light. Buy a diamond with a great cut, and it'll shine.

I'd advise you to go see some stones in person to determine the color you want. I'd also advise you get a VS2 or SI1, as the stone will be eye clean at these clarities, but the price will be much lower than VVS and IF stones.
 

pcheng

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
18
Wow! Amazing site. I found this diamond that I liked. It has no band so that will cost me but I am only looking right now so I might find something similar. Do you think that this will be really bright? I saw some large diamonds where the top part was dull and I was thinking it was because they are too big. Is that true?

Price: $2,495.65
Cut: Super Ideal
Color: G
Clarity: SI2
Carat Weight: 0.71
Depth: 60.9%
Table: 55%
Girdle: Thin
Polish/Symmetry: Excellent/Excellent

Thanks for the help


Edit* I also checked out NiceIce and they have a lot of interesting information. I think I will have to spend a few days studying those.
 

dimonbob

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 12, 2000
Messages
670
Welcome to the forum Pcheng,

Yes, a lot of people ask that question, but not to worry, they is where we are here for.

To make it easy for you go to the top of this page below A Cut Above and click on pricescope. That will take you to a page that has near the top on the right hand side in red to search for diamonds by cut quality, and click. Fill in the carat weight .50 to .70, D - G color, VS2 - SI1 clarity
Check only GIA & AGS certificates. On the left hand side check H&A only and AGS 0 only. Hit go and you will see a couple of dozen "super ideal cut" diamonds to choose from.
Almost all will be within your $2500 price range. This is a wonderful list of beautiful diamonds from four different dealers at a great price. Plus you can trust them all.
 

niceice

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
1,792
Be sure to get the Crown Angle and Pavilion Angle measurements before making a decision regarding this diamond because without those you can't know for sure whether the diamond is ideal cut, let alone "super ideal"... This is the answer to your other question regarding size and brilliance, the size of the diamond has very little to do with the light return - the angle of the pavilion facets and the crown angle control most of this...
 

pcheng

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
18
I found a lot of diamonds from the pricescope search. Here is one as an example:
Shape A Cut Above H&A
Carat 0.68
Color G
Clarity VS2
Measurements (mm) 5.72-5.73 x 3.47
Table % 57
Depth % 60.7
Crown Angle ° 34
Crown % 14.5
Pavilion Angle ° 41
Pavilion % 43.4
Polish Ideal
Symmetry Ideal
Girdle Thin 0.7% to 1.2% Faceted
Culet Pointed
Fluorescence No

What should I be looking for? What ranges of table? depth? crown angle? crown? pavilion angle? pavilion? Girdle?

Thank you for all the help.
 

ccuheartnurse

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 22, 2002
Messages
1,734
Since your budget is tight, & no offense, the stone is not large, perhaps you should be concentrating on an SI-1 (with white inclusions of course
) & a colour of G-H. Then again, if you want to go with a smaller size stone (.5) then you can up the clarity & colour. I think the .75 is a nicer size.
Hey, I'm female after all. I have a 1.55 SI-1, I see NO inclusions so you should be safe with that clarity on a smaller stone. Infact, I did see an SI-2, Ideal cut with white inclusions & thought it looked pretty nice. If the vendor (in Buffalo,NY) hadnt been an A$$ perhaps thats the one I would have chosen. It really was eyeclean till I looked at it through the loop then I saw all kinds of "stuff". But the key here is that it was eye clean without a loop.

Good luck in your search. I might add that my stone came from Diamond Brokers of Florida (diamondbrokersofflorida.com) They dont participate on this forum but I can vouch that they are above board & ethical jewelers.


Judy
:)
 

ccuheartnurse

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 22, 2002
Messages
1,734
One more thing, for the money, you might consider a non-branded stone. Branded stones carry a premium. All the vendors here apart from Superbcert (which is a branded company) can find you non-branded H&A stones for your budget.

Judy
:)
 

pcheng

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
18
I wouldn't mind going to a lower level but I want to be sure that I get a diamond that is shiny and sparkles. Since I am not exactly sure what does that I thought that the better the diamond the more sparkle.
This is why I started this thread. To find out how to get the best diamond for my tight budget and until now its going very well. My only consern is not being able to see the diamond and that way I am not sure if I will really like what I buy till after I buy it. I don't have a lot of time to buy and return diamonds if I don't like them.

Keep the information coming my way. I am all ears (or eyes on the forum)
 

Lugus

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 17, 2003
Messages
213

----------------
On 3/11/2003 11:55:27 AM ccuheartnurse wrote:
One more thing, for the money, you might consider a non-branded stone. Branded stones carry a premium. All the vendors here apart from Superbcert (which is a branded company) can find you non-branded H&A stones for your budget.

Judy
:)----------------
While true in most cases, I don't believe superbcert stones carry that premium.

Pcheng, while you cannot see the diamond before purchasing, you can see things like lightscope, brillianceScope, sarin report, HCA scores, etc. These are all tools you will want to employee when making your decision. And yes you are correct, the better the diamond, the more sparkle. Cut has everything to do with this.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
If you saw a stone where the top looked dull, the table of the stone (top flat part) may have been too big and/or the entire cut may have been sub-level. Diamonds should sparkle like the dickens if they are wellcut. Lugus bought an AMAZING superbcert (you should post the picture Lugus) and the picture that Barry took of it for him is just gorgeous. You can see the beauty of the stone and it isn't even really sparkling in this shot.

Anyway--sounds like you have been guided in the right direction. SuperbCert stones will most likely all be excellent finds. A Cut Above stones as well. These are stones that have been 'tweaked' a bit so that they return the most light possible to the viewers eye.

Here is a quick short educational bit for you to absorb. Companies with sites such as NiceIce.Com, SuperbCert, WhiteFlash.Com (sells A Cut Above stones), DiamondOptics.Com, GoodOldGold.Com, etc. will have reports on their site such as BrillianceScope, IdealScope, and Sarin/MegaScope/OGI. These will come in very helpful for your search especially since you are concerned with not seeing the stone before purchase. Companies with these tools help you 'virtually view' your stone in that you get a better idea of how it will perform in real life than alot of offline stores! Here's a quick breakdown of what the reports/tools mean.

Bscope--Photos are taken of the stone at different intervals and then animated into one image so that you can see a simulated version of how the stone may look when it moves and/or sparkles. The machine also converts the data from the pictures into bar graphs so that you can see the fire, scintillation and brilliance of the stone. It is common for a stone to have a higher brilliance bar than scintillation or vice versa. Scintillation is still really yet to be defined. Brilliance is considered the flashes of white light off the stone. Fire is sparkles inside of the stone. Scint in my eyes is loosely defined as 'contrast' of blacks inside the stone which play off either the fire or brilliance and give the stone an extra definition of depth. Bscope results are fun because you can see the bar graphs (focus on a stone with all VH's if you want an excellent cut) and also play with the animation to see the different light paths and result of the stone.

IdealScope--This is a pink little handheld scope which you put the stone into and then look through the viewer and see a red and black image of the stone. The reds (deep reds best) mean the amount of light that is being shot back into your eyes. This is good! The blacks mean scintillation or hot-spots of contrast...good too. You don't want to see white (leakage of light out the edges or bottom) or really pale pinks or grays. Red and black are good. Lighter colors not so good. You want a nice balance of red to black, not too much black. Many sites will have their IS posted, nicely cut SuperIdeal (ACA/SuperbCert stones) and H&A stones will show a clear pattern of arrows against the redness of the light return. This is good!


Sarin/MScope/OGI--These are tools used to measure details of the stone, such as crown and pavilion angle (good to know if you want to use the HCA link at the top of this page to see how your stone may perform) and many many other details that I can't seem to think of right now. If a stone you are considering does not have one of these, ask to have it done. You will need more info than a GIA cert or a jeweler can just tell you to make your decision.

There are also other tools such as the H&A viewer for H&A stones which when looked through will show a clear image of hearts and one of arrows, this is taken to meant almost perfect internal symmetry of the stone (good). You may pay a slight markup for an H&A stone, and SuperIdeal stones are H&A stones as well.

What else am I missing?
Oh when viewing stones online, it helps to use a site that has the above tools AND closeups of the stones as well as their inclusions. GOG has this, Whiteflash for some of their stones, NiceIce has this, etc. It really helps you figure out where the inclusion on your stone is and if its eye-clean or visible, etc.

Sorry for the long post but hope this helps. Sounds like you have a few stones already chosen, both the SuperbCert and the ACA stone should be *amazing* in person. These are not just random stones you plucked from a store...these are well cut stones from reputable vendors. Be sure to get a good return policy but I doubt you will need it if you buy from one of the vendors on here...most are very excellent.

 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Oh I also meant to say that if you are on a tight budget for now..I would suggest getting a really good stone, and then a plain white gold solitaire band. WhiteFlash has them for around $200 I think, so that will definitely not break the budget! You can always upgrade the setting later or get a different metal. But W/G is a great starting band and since you just want a plain solitaire, don't worry too much about the setting taking $$ away from the stone. I would focus the search on the stone, get something really excellent, and then a plain band. Most solitaire bands come very thin as well as thicker, so focus on maybe a 2.0mm band esp for a stone around the .70c range, you don't want the band to detract from the stone. A thinner band will also make the stone look larger..always a plus!


One last comment. G color stones will be great for your budget..you may even consider going into the H range. If you are considering a SuperIdeal or H&A stone, your stone will face up whiter than it would if it was a mediocre cut stone, so you can most likely go to an H with no problems.

On clarity--I noticed you are looking at SI1/SI2. When you purchase..BE SURE the stone is 100% eye clean. When purchasing online its hard to tell...going with a VS2 is usually safer, but your budget may not allow it. I would confirm with the vendor (and try to see closeups of the stone etc) before purchasing that the stone is eye clean. This is important..you don't want to spend your money on an excellent cut, beauty with a big feather in a corner. Unless of course that inclusion can be covered with a prong, then it's not really a big deal!
 

ccuheartnurse

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 22, 2002
Messages
1,734
Lugas, I can only speak of my observations when I was looking for my stone, & at that time Superbcert had a stone similar for $1000 more. I call that a premium. I am not trying to start anything here, like I said, I can only speak of my experience. I shopped around & I found what I think was the best value for my fiances money.

Pcheng, learn what the numbers mean & make an educated decision regardless of where you buy. Cut is king & with the right cut, even with a lower clarity stone, you will have great sparkle.


Judy
:)
 

Lugus

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 17, 2003
Messages
213

----------------
On 3/11/2003 12:51
1 PM ccuheartnurse wrote:
Lugas, I can only speak of my observations when I was looking for my stone, & at that time Superbcert had a stone similar for $1000 more. I call that a premium. I am not trying to start anything here, like I said, I can only speak of my experience. I shopped around & I found what I think was the best value for my fiances money.

Judy
:)----------------

Of course, nor do I wish to call you a lier. When I went looking, my SupertCert stone ended up costing the same price as a non branded stone.

 

Lugus

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 17, 2003
Messages
213
Ask and you shall receive Mara. I believe this is the picture you were referring to. What I really need to do is get some pictures of it in the sun. My fiance and I played in the park this weekend, and WOW that diamond could blind you. I didn't realize what huge flashes of fire the stone was capable of, but needless to say I was pleasantly surprised.

PurpColors.jpg
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Thats the one. Boy that thing is amazing. I don't know why I like it so much!


I was in a vietnamese noodle house last nite and they had some sort of weird blue and purple lights up on a sign on the wall. My ring totally started taking on blue and purple tones and looked really awesome. Too bad I didn't have my camera or else I would have probably snapped about 100 new pix of the thing. Just image your sweeties ring but instead of being whitish brilliant its all bright blue and purple rainbows inside. really cool.
 

pcheng

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
18
That is a beautiful ring indeed. I hope I can make a good choice and get her something she will really really love. I've been looking at a lot of diamonds but most get sold before I look at them again.


How soon do you think I need to buy a diamond if I will need it set in a ring to present by May? Do I have to start the procedure soon or do you think I have time to keep looking till the best one comes?
 

ccuheartnurse

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 22, 2002
Messages
1,734
There's no time like the present if you're prepared financially. As you've seen, the great stones get sold very quickly. Also, you need to start looking at mounts too. If you go for a stock setting, that will be much quicker than if you had to order one from a designer or get custom done which might take a few weeks. May isnt that far off.


Lugas, thats a great shot!
You must have a great Macro mode on your camera.

Judy
:)
 

pcheng

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
18
I am thinking of a normal 2mm thick 4 prong ring in either white gold or platinum. Most of the sites I saw though have them till size 8. I believe that my girlfriend is a size 8.5. I also thought that if I have it set here in Austin I might be able to refit it to her size after I present it.

I know that a platinum ring will set me back around $300 while a white gold one will go for less than $100. I really like platinum though!!
 

Lugus

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 17, 2003
Messages
213

----------------
On 3/11/2003 6
9:19 PM ccuheartnurse wrote:

Lugas, thats a great shot!
You must have a great Macro mode on your camera.

Judy
:)----------------
No idea what a macro mode is
I'm a programmer, not a photographer. But, it's not dificult getting this diamond to "smile" for the camera.

pcheng, once I got decided on my diamond, it took a few days to send it to the appraiser and about a week for the checks to clear, since it was a large cash purchase. Barry went to extremes to make sure everything happened within the week, and facing a deadline myself, he was awesome. I got my diamond 2 days early.

If you buy a diamond from someone who carries rings, you can always try to barter for a discounted ring. It's a competitive market after all.
 

gemsource

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 11, 2003
Messages
48
hi, i hope you have found the diamond you desire.i personally feel i would be happy with a nice cut si range clarity collor j.lots o fire in stones like that,after all
are you gonna be pulling your 10x loupe out every time you look at it?still a desireable stone,i have seen attractive i1 clarity stones.platinum is usually rhodium plated i have seen these turn grey.id go with white gold.also a nice stone does not have to be certified the cert is a waste on stones under a carat it adds tons of cost to it
 

dimonbob

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Dec 12, 2000
Messages
670
Hello again Pcheng,

That .68 G VS2 A Cut Above diamond is absolutely gorgeous and it shines like enough to take your breath away AND...
it costs hundreds less than one that is .02 ct larger. Same color, clarity, both H&A both branded. Just because it is branded does not mean it is expensive. Expense is relative. If you buy a no name 61/61 VG VG "Ideal" that we all saw today on this site, you should pay less but in fact it cost more.
Stick to your guns, you found the most beautiful diamond at the best price. Grab it and hang on!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
actually Phillip I have to slightly disagree. Buying a diamond that isn't certified and dropping $2-3k on a stone that you *hope* is what someone says it is does not work for me. If it is certified by AGS or GIA or similar, you at least have some security on color, clarity and the basics such as table/depth/girdle. Otherwise you just have the jeweler's word on a stone (hey this is a beautiful G VS2!).

If you buy from the right vendor, it will not cost 'tons' more than an uncerted stone, and it is rightly so that a stone should cost slightly more if it was certed...as that is a tiny bit of insurance on the basics.

A stone that anyone buys should be double checked of course.
 

pcheng

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
18
I just found out that whiteflash.com is located in Texas. There goes my chance of buying from them since I will have to pay taxes if I get it there. I will need to check out all the sites addresses before getting my hopes up now.

Being on a tight budget $200 some dollars for tax is a considerable amount.
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Just my 2cents..

A *well cut* stone in the 3/4 range going to a H even an I will be plenty sparkly & white.

Cut is king - but you just need a stone w/ a good make.

If you go with an I/J stone, try to look for stones w/ at least medium blue fluorescence.

Also, an SI1 in this carat weight has a good chance of being eye clean.

At the end of the day, buy the diamond not the specs. If you are buying on the net, I would consider a cert important.

$2500.00 should buy you a nice diamond.
 

Lugus

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 17, 2003
Messages
213

----------------
On 3/12/2003 1:18
3 AM pcheng wrote:
I just found out that whiteflash.com is located in Texas. There goes my chance of buying from them since I will have to pay taxes if I get it there. I will need to check out all the sites addresses before getting my hopes up now.

Being on a tight budget $200 some dollars for tax is a considerable amount.


----------------

If you found the diamond you liked, it's possible that someone else might be able to sell it. It would be worth calling them and seeing if they'd sell the diamond through another dealer. I know when I bought my superbcert, I found the stone at usacerteddiamonds.com and ended up having the actually purchase go through Barry at superbcert.com.
 

pcheng

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
18
Ok. So I have this diamond in reserve. I need all the feedback I can get within the next 48hours so that I can know what to do.

Shape A Cut Above H&A
Carat 0.68
Color G
Clarity VS2
Measurements (mm) 5.72-5.73 x 3.47
Table % 57
Depth % 60.7
Crown Angle ° 34
Crown % 14.5
Pavilion Angle ° 41
Pavilion % 43.4
Polish Ideal
Symmetry Ideal
Girdle Thin 0.7% to 1.2% Faceted
Culet Pointed
Fluorescence No

Edit*
Light Return Excellent
Fire Excellent
Scintillation Very Good
Spread
or diameter for weight Very Good
Total Visual Performance 1.3 - Excellent - within TIC range



Please give me all the information you can.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
What else do you need to know?

A Cut Above stones are not your typical 'ideal' cut stones, they are stones that have had their minor facets tweaked in order to present a stone that gives the viewer a higher amount of light return than your typical stone. I've posted a few images for you in the next post. The one on the left is a very nice H&A AGS000 stone with excellent light return and bscope results. The one on the right is an ACA stone. Many of their stones have very similar IS images...so you can effectively think of this ACA image as close to the one you are considering. You will see slight differences in the two stones.

Here is the ACA writeup on WhiteFlash...so you can see what they say. I took the IS image from this page for the ACA stone. I took the image on the left of my frankenimage below from the GOG site..hope you don't mind Jonathan..I couldn't find any really good IS images elsewhere.


http://www.whiteflash.com/acut/newline.asp

The stone on the left is the H&A AGS000 stone..very beautiful..with excellent light return. See the slight white light leakage on the edges? Compare it to the ACA stone with its all red edges. That is what the tweaked minor facets are all about. The reds in these pictures do not match but that's not really what I was focusing on..and the pictures may have been taken differently. Rather, look at the ACA stone which has all red and black in it. The ideal AGS H&A stone is excellent but has small leakages on the edge as well as slight white leakages between the hot spots and also has a paler area of pinks and reds under and between the beginnings of the arrows. Deep reds mean best light return. Will you notice the differences in person between the two stones? Maybe--but if so they are probably really minimal to your naked eye. Both stones would most likely be excellent performers. But it really comes down to personal preference. Do you like the tweaked facets for excellent light return and sharp arrows? Some people may not.

Many people have gotten the ACA stones and loved them. Look at WhiteFlash's testimonials...also we have had some people on here post that they love them. H&A's such as Jonathan's are absolutely amazing too. What it comes down to is you are selecting between maybe the top 3% of the stones available to you, it starts to get down to splitting hairs. The ACA stone you are looking at will most likely be amazing. Good luck!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Here is the image.

Also, I viewed the stone you are looking at on Whiteflash's site and noticed they only have a sample image up there. Get them to give you an image of the stone. Get them to give you the IS image of the stone and the H&A images before you purchase. This should not be a problem. I would do this to confirm that yes everything looks amazing before you plunk down the $$. But again...to be an ACA stone you have to meet pretty stringent requirements so chances are most of the images to an untrained eye (e.g. us!) look the same!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
hmm image did not work before--here it is again.

compare2.jpg
 
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